Sunday, 26 January 2014

Schedule Sunday # 3

Well another week flashed past in a nanosecond...I think this must be a sign of getting old!! It was another hectic one here in Loulouland...

Passporting away

So since getting married in September I've been slowly but surely working my way through the gigantic list of things I needed to change my name on - from my driving license, bank cards, work documents, email addresses the list is never ending! One of the most costly (and complicated!!) is the changing of the passport! Handily mine was due for renewal in November this year so I needed to update it anyway - 4 forms later (LONG story involving out of date forms(!) coffee and day dates in month columns!) I finally had the Post Office confirmation and off it went - roughly 3 weeks and I should have my new passport with shocking photo back and ready to start planning some trips!!

Housing to go

Also since getting married Mr P and I have been discussing the need to move to a larger abode. I confess it is mainly my handbag, shoes and clothing that takes up all the room but we'd like to upgrade from our 2 bedroom to at least a 3 if not 4 bedroom house! That way we can have some room each plus an actual spare room for guests! The only problem is finding a nice new house that meets all of our criteria that doesn't cost ridiculous amounts. We want to stay on "our side of town" and for some reason the prices here are a good £50k more than in other areas...handily it looks like a spangly new development might have just got the go ahead on our doorstep which if so would be perfection!! Fingers crossed it makes it...

Catching up with my bestie
I finally made it out of my hometown and on to visit my bestie Mrs L and my goddaughters with their Christmas presents - we were both so frantic pre Christmas and with the floods/weather/storms etc since we've not managed to meet up but finally we did on Saturday afternoon! It was lovely to see them and now I've managed to see them I'm all enthused to get out and about more. It is so easy when the winter sets in to hibernate in our little seaside abode but I really need to get out more and catch up with my lovely friends before they forget who I am!!

Yet more rain.......

Despite a couple of days where the sun peeked out the overall week has again been wet and miserable here in the UK. I am so bored of dodging puddles on my way into work and coming home covered in mud....surely it must be time for either Spring or at least a cold dry snap??

A cheeky Nandos
Earlier in the week we paid an unplanned but very delicious trip to our local Nandos, Mr P finally got the new style loyalty card (we still have a whole chicken on the old one to eat on our next visit too!) and I remember just why the Piri piri chips are so darned good - it may be a type of fast food but man is it yum!!

So that was January week 4 - other exciting notables were payday (always a joy in January as it feels like it takes forever to get there!!) rediscovering a handbag and falling back in love with it's spacious gorgeousness (gotta have a big bag during the day) and starting season 3 of the Good Wife (yep still obsessed with that show!)

The week ahead has another bestie's birthday, the promise of dinner out and the lure of planning a weekend to Bath soon so it should be a good one!

Hope you are all looking forward to the week ahead!


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Workwear Wednesday : The Proposal

I do love a good romcom and in my humble opinion Sandra Bullock is the queen of the genre, I mean just look at her back catalogue...2 Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality, While You Were Sleeping and my absolute favourite The Proposal!

If you haven't seen this movie I urge you to check it out NOW! I love everything about this movie, the characters, the male lead - hello Ryan Reynolds!! The cast also includes the fabulous ex Golden Girl Betty White and the glorious Mary Steenburgen who I simply adore and should be in every movie if possible!!

Anyway the plot of this movie focuses on a high flying publishing exec (Sandra) and her assistant (Ryan) and when her work visa expires needs to secure her citizenship so decides to marry her assistant whether he wants to or not (a promotion may just have swung the deal!!) Anyway long story short they end up at his home in Alaska and guess what....they fall in love! Everyone say aaah.    

Throughout the whole movie Sandra's wardrobe is impeccable - from Manhattan Chic to her Alaskan snuggly warm layers...the perfect workwear and casual wear I mean just look at the gorgeous suiting in this the promotional shot:

The neatly tailored perfect black suit and those gorgeous shoes! I'm shallow we know this (see previous posts!!) This 50's style coat all full skirt and nipped in belted waist is just perfection - especially with that Hermes bag on her arm and the statement sunnies!

And the bag in this shot below - hello perfect slouchy leather buttery tan makes me want to dig through my bag collection and see if I can't find that perfect one (even though I know it isn't alert time!) I'm all about the accessories they just escalate a plain outfit into something awesome!


Of course there are moments where a perfect little black suit just won't cut it and this comfy colourful sweater + scarf is a pretty ensemble that screams co-ordinated casual!

Hurrah for hump day hope you are all having a good week!!


Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Wants: the perfect black jumper

I think I've mentioned I can usually be found wearing very simply, classic pieces rather than anything too edgy or fashion forward - I like to feel smart, put together and most of all comfortable!!

This means that quite often when I become fixated on something it is either something practical (hello perfect belted puffa coat I mean you) or something the majority of people I'm sure find incredible boring. This ramble nicely introduces a post all about black jumpers...The perfect black jumper for me needs to be a wool free zone, an annoying intolerance to wool against my skin (it just makes me itch no matter how soft the garment) means I'm always on the look out for any non wool supersoft jumpers I can find!

My favourite stores for these tend to be my usual high street suspects - Warehouse, Oasis and the conglomerate of all things Debenhams. I'm searching for the perfect relaxed crew neck/almost slashed neck, relaxed fit/slouchy but smart jumper. One that can be "poshed up" with a statement necklace for smart/casual days with friends but can also double as a smart workwear piece with tailored separates and minimal bling...not wanting much then I guess!

A couple of my favourites at the moment:

A Warehouse zipper shoulder number

I really like the slouchyness look of this and the zips do have a nod to an edgier design than I would normally go for. I hate the styling with the shirt underneath and the zips mean no statement necklace potentially but the length and the overall look seem good...and it could definitely double up for work and casual wear

The Very longline petite sweater


I don't normally shop at Very but in a recent video by YouTuber MissBudgetBeauty on her Spendaholic channel comparing Ugg boots compelled me to check out their online site. While doing so I was very tempted by a sweater dress that says Pow (cool eh!) but I also saw this bargain, longline, v-neck but not too low and with long sleeves -all for £16 I figure it could be worth a try...

And finally the Oasis sweater/blouse conundrum

And then there is this lovely item from Oasis. It's half blouse (sleeves) and half jumper. It doesn't really match the brief at all other than looking slouchy and pretty cool but there's just something about it that calls to me. Don't think I'll be trying the plaited hair crown thing tho, I'm not a fan of that I have to say!

So there we go, the hunt continues for now. Are you a fan of the simple black jumper or do you prefer a more statement looking knit? Let me know in the comments I'd love to hear if you like my choices or if these are just too boring for you! Lxx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Schedule Sunday # 2

Wow where did that week go? Admittedly I spent most of the week thinking it was Friday and it is always upsetting when you then wake up and realise it is only Wednesday but even so the past 7 days have disappeared in flash!! I'm guessing because it was such a busy one....

Super crazy busy work stuff

I am super busy at work at the moment as we gear up for the start of the Peak season...with signage/creative/leaflet/poster/planning and website briefs coming out of my ears I am forever making lists and notes just to try and make sure I don't miss any deadlines or forget something vital!! Thank goodness for post it notes is all I can say this week :)

A very late Cornish Christmas

With the weather and bouts of flu scuppering any plans over the festive season we finally made it down to visit the hubs family to exchange presents and catch up! I love visiting them in Cornwall, not only are the nicest people but where they live is just amazing - definitely somewhere I would love to live one day!

Bargainous Pizza Deliciousness

On Tuesday night the hubs and I went to The Stable in Weymouth for dinner. For some reason we tend to visit The Stable lots in summer and then neglect to visit over the winter months (maybe it is our age or the vile weather meaning we hibernate more) but a colleague had mentioned (a lot) their fabulous Tuesday night offer of any pizza and a beverage for £10! What a bargain so we trotted off through torrential rain for some delicious eats. If you are unfamiliar with The Stable they serve homemade pizzas, pies and salads with locally sourced ingredients. They now have several restaurants over the South West and originated in Bridport - if you ever get the chance to visit one I highly recommend as they are very tasty, have friendly staff and the cider tasting challenge (5 half pints of different local ciders) is a great start to a meal / night out!! I ordered the Joe Gundry which includes smoked mackrel, smoked salmon and fresh spinach among the toppings YUM and the hubs had a Longhorn Jim and announced this was his favourite ever. I think the combo of chorizo, beef and ham helped - total carnivore my husband!

Snow lust

For the past 2 Januarys I've been lucky enough to go skiing with a terrific group of people. The first year I went I was total novice and had never skied before and trotted off to Whistler in Canada to see if I could learn to like the sport. My hubs is a huge fan and had blackmailed persuaded me to go along and at least try. Up until that holiday I was absolutely that person who thought spending so much money to be cold on holiday was utter madness. But after a lot of lessons and a few mishaps I came back completely converted....Fast forward to January 2013 and I spent a week in Les Arcs where I could still remember how to get down a mountain (winner!!) unfortunately due to the wedding/honeymoon in Maui the disposable funds simply weren't there to join the GSD crew this year who have returned again to the incredible resort of Whistler. We are beyond jealous, especially as while we stalk the resort through their webcams we can see that the weather is all clear blue skies and sunshine. There is talk of a possible late season trip potentially being an option and with the Winter Olympics looming (and even Channel 4's Jump programme) getting me even more ski obsessed I think I can safely say I've got the bug!!

Grown up thoughts

This week was also the week I started to think properly about long term futures (yawn). With a new pension and share save scheme launching at work I'm finally at the ripe old age of 36 starting to think about the FUTURE eek. Normally my long term spending projects are more handbag based but maybe now I'm an old married lady I'm starting to become more sensible!! Surely not? But if I want that Cornwall move I'd best get my savings on...

The week ahead

This week will mainly be consisting of working, a couple of Webinars as I try to improve myself and a long overdue hair appointment on Saturday! After which I will hopefully be seeing the lovely Mrs L for a massively overdue Christmas present drop off (worst godmother ever 'tis me)

Hope you have all had a good week I'd love to hear about it!!


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Schedule Sunday # 1

Welcome to the first Schedule Sunday post! This is where I'm going to ramble on about my past week as well as what is coming up in a hopefully entertaining way :)

I had a funny week this week:

A bit of a makeover

The hubs spent a lot of time redesigning the blog to give it a fresh makeover - and doesn't it look good?? There were a couple of iterations along the way but I'm in love with the new look and I hope you like it, what do you think? I'd love to know in the comments.

A fashion blogger?

I was contacted by BBC Radio West Midlands regarding the financial results of Marks and Spencers - they were going to be discussing the results live on air and had seen my previous posts about M&S fashion (see here and here) and wondered if I would agree to be one of the interviewees on their morning radio show. This was odd as a) I wouldn't call myself a fashion blogger b) I don't live in the West Midlands and c) I'm no expert in fashion retailing! But like most people I have an opinion on M&S and especially their clothing (well everyone loves their food right?) so I thought why not? The segment was fine I was interviewed alongside a bona fide retail expert and I don't think I made too much of a fool of myself plus it certainly made for an interesting start to my Thursday morning!!

Thai via Nandos
Last night the hubs and I decided to venture out for dinner, he's been craving Nandos for a while now so we trekked over to our nearest one (about a 15 minute drive) unfortunately being Saturday night it was heaving and the wait was nearly an hour. Hunger won out and we decided to investigate a Thai restaurant I've walked past more times than I can remember but never been in. And I'm so glad we did!! The atmosphere was super relaxed and the food was incredibly good and excellent value, the service was slow but overall this was a big win from an impromptu night out!!

The Good Wife Obsession
I wrote on Wednesday about my current obsession with the American TV show The Good Wife (see here) well I've managed this week to watch the entire first season (I LOVE Netflix!!!!!) and I've started Season 2 it's just addictive. I love the characters, the scenarios, the escapism of thinking if only I'd gone to law school this could've been me (just go with it it's escapism remember) for a nice change the female characters are especially well rounded and realistically written. Plus I'm totally drooling over their office attire, shallow but true!!

Planning blog posts the Loulou way

My Filofax Blog Planning Section
As the blog is now a key focus area for me I thought I'd share my blog post planning organisation...that makes it sound posher than it is but what I have done is set aside a section in my Filofax for blog planning. There is a specific tab in my Projects sections that is just for my blog schedule, ideas about future posts and notes about the blog. I have the Projects section right at the front of my binder, ahead of my calendars as I refer to it a lot and want it easily accessible. I then write in my calendar (Week on one page with notes) the posts and whether they are scheduled or to be written this way I know what is planned and what is yet to write or completed already! With a New Year Resolution to keep I'm aiming to be super organised with the blog to fit it around working full time as well.

The week ahead

Coming up this week I have LOTS on at work, I love this part of my job the planning, the presentations, the thinking's my favourite part of marketing. Identifying who the customer is and how I can target them and make them to make the rest of the week easier I'm trying to be organised and do 2 things:

  1. Meal Plan: the hubs and I are rubbish sometimes and thinking of what to have for dinner so this week I'm trialling a new system (well not new as such but I've not done it for ages) and planning out our meals for the week! I've just ordered the Knock Knock Meal Planner from Amazon ideally I wanted the magnetised version to stick on the fridge but I can just use magnets to attach the sheets once completed!! Tuesday we are planning a night out but apart from that I'm going to plan out some favourites and a newbie to try....
  2. Wardrobe Plan: I've tweeted these before, I do find it easier to plan what I'm wearing in advance so I don't spend wasted time in the mornings wondering where an item is (or having to iron things ugh I hate ironing!!) Considering the monsoon like conditions Dorset has been having it's all about practical footwear and warm layers...not glamorous but completely essential!

So there we are the first Schedule Sunday, it goes to show I certainly still have the ability to ramble that's for sure! I'd love to know what you are all up to over the upcoming week!!


p.s. you can now find icons to follow me on Twitter or on Instagram above to see pictures and read rambles from me almost daily. You can also click to follow me on Bloglovin which has to be the best blog reader platform it's the one I swear by so I'd love it if you followed me

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Workwear Wednesday: The Good Wife inspiration

Welcome to the first Workwear Wednesday post! These posts are going to be all about stealing style tips from TV or film characters that provide inspirational wardrobes as well as captivating watching!!

So for the first one I'm channeling inspiration from my current TV show obsession The Good Wife! If you haven't caught this show it centers around the life of Alicia Florrick, the wife of a former state attorney who has been sent to prison for corruption (after sleeping with a bevvy of escorts as well to boot!) and is on Netflix - back to back episodes...bliss!!

Anyway I digress, to make a living now her husband is in jail Alicia, played by the stunning Julianna Margulies best known previously from ER, has had to go back out to work as a lawyer starting at the bottom as a Junior Associate. Her wardrobe consists of great suits, amazing separates, a fabulous range of jackets and very stylish lounge wear always with a very Nigella Lawson-esque blow dry and immaculate make up. Plus her range of heels and handbags are pretty fab too (yes I'm shallow I love me some good accessories!!)

So here are some of my favourite looks from the previous few seasons (and if you haven't caught any episodes then I suggest you hotfoot it over to Netflix and start watching!!) So my inspiration for this week is to start rocking some cute jacket and trouser combinations, even if the stiletto heels will have to stay in the wardrobe as they don't mix with my muddy workplace, shame though I have some rocking heels just dying to head out of my wardrobe!!

A classic cream suit number for court:

 Loving this grey and black number and the hint of a statement necklace:
 4 fabulous ladies all rocking amazing ensembles:
 Another fantastic grey jacket - the nipped in tailoring is just perfect especially with black base layers:
 But finally if you need to kick ass in court a red power jacket rocks it all the way:
So there we go, my first Wednesday post hope there's some inspiration in there for you I know there is lots for me!!


Monday, 6 January 2014

Monday wants: the fur gilet

Is it a gilet, a vest or even a waistcoat?? I've seen lots of these over the years but now I'm obsessed!! I mean completely inappropriate with the current permanent wet weather system we have in the UK with constant torrential rain - I'd end up looking more like a soggy wet hound than the glamorous vixen image they convey to me but I just think they are so chic!

3 groundrules:

  1. Must be faux fur - I feel that goes without saying but was horrified to end up on a site selling real fur for just £40 or so...I do wear leather and eat meat so maybe I'm hypocritical but wearing fur would be a step too far for me (as for angora the recent PETA videos being shared everywhere make me so glad I can't wear wool! Man made fibres all the way for me!!)
  2. Ideally it would be black - I love wearing black, it suits me, it's glamorous and it goes with EVERYTHING. If I'm trying out a new trend (well for me it is) then it has to be a classic colour so that I'm testing the concept not whether I suit yeti white...but maybe grey or natural could work..
  3. It has to be hip length I love that layered look

So here are 3 of my  favourites I've spied online while perusing the post Christmas sales:

It's black, it's the right length and it is a very reasonable £29.99 in the sale, but I'm not sure about the belt or the snuggle factor  (it's a thing honest!)...


White Stuff
Ok so its not black but grey but it looks rather snuggly and warm and soft and strokeable....oh and it is on sale for just £52.50 what's not to love?

French Connection
More expensive and appalling styling in my opinion on the site as you really can't tell what the item actually looks like, that aside it looks a great length and super soft but it's twice the price of the others....

Are you a faux fur gilet type of gal or is all too fuzzy for you?


Sunday, 5 January 2014

A new blogging schedule for 2014

Following on from my last post I've been doing quite a lot of thinking about my blog and what direction I want to take it in! Don't worry the same sort of ramblings will occur but I want to try and be a bit more organised with my posting (I mean lets face it 2013 was a fail in terms of regular content wasn't it!) so here is my plan:

Sundays are going to be called Schedule Sunday - this is where I'll post about my more random thoughts, what I have coming up and inspiration for the week ahead as well as reviewing what I did or didn't achieve in the week prior!

Wednesdays are going to be a new feature following on from several previous posts called Workwear Wednesday - now this may sound boring but this is the new "fashiony" section of the blog. I've realised I spend a lot of time as I think lots of others do taking style inspirations from TV shows or films whether it be consciously or sub-consciously. So in the aim of finding my style groove in 2014 as I lurch precariously towards my 4th decade in 4 years I wanted to start my own fashion area on my blog :)

Following on with my love of alliteration I'm going to start a regular Filofax Friday feature. As you will know if you've read my blog before I adore my Filofaxes, I have (far) too many and I tend to swop them out to change according to the time of year and the seasons as well as what I have going on in my life. The first couple of Filofax Fridays will focus on my current set up and the binders that I am using (currently 3: A5 Osterley in Grey for work, Personal Adelphi in Magenta for everything and a Pocket Imperial Purple Finchley for a smaller, travel friendly, on the go binder!) so if you are a Filofax buff keep your eyes peeled next week for that.

Amongst these regular posts there will be random additions including monthly favourites, handbag features, study planning and organisation, work planning and organisation, travel guides and recommendations/planning and mutterings about anything else that takes my fancy! I mean this is my little space on the interweb isn't it so I'm going to write about what I love!!

I hope you all enjoy the more regular posting and I hope that I can build back the followers and communication that I used to have before my blogging mojo vamooshed and I stopped writing! Here's to 2014


p.s keep a look out there's a blog redesign coming too, well New Year, New Mojo = New Style....

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hello 2014....what's new for Mrs P?

So it is the first day of 2014 and while the weather (wet, windy and a bit more wet) seems stuck in 2013 it's a good day to reflect on 2013 but also plan for some exciting things in the upcoming year ahead!

In terms of New Years Resolutions it's a short and sweet list for me this year - after all the excitement of getting married and visiting Hawaii in 2013 I wanted to focus on improving myself and becoming healthier and achieving some long term goals this year:

1) Start blogging regularly again! 
I miss blogging! One of my greatest pleasures is waffling on about nonsense in my little space on the interbob but I didn't seem to get my groove going last year - in my drafts folder are masses of unfinished posts but a new year means a new start! So thinking about about what I love includes of course planning, organisation and my Filofax, books and magazines - I love reading but don't do it enough, handbags and maybe even some random beauty posts! As well as some home improvement and studying posts...

2) Start writing my "novel"
When I first started blogging it was in part to see if I could develop a writing style because I'd love to know if one day the random plot lines and characters I have whirling around my head could ever make it into a cohesive I have started to put together a plan of how I could make the fiction in my head into fiction on a page!

3) Cycle around the Isle of Wight
This came out of a conversation with my good friend Mr T about me having not visited the IOW other than for the festival. So what could be better than cycling around (probably from pub to pub) seeing beautiful scenery while burning off all the ice cream with some friends?

4) Eat my "5 a day" 
Like many people I think, I veer between being really good at making sure my diet contains lots of fruits and vegetables and then periods where I don't seem to eat any! So for 2014 I really want to make myself focus on being healthier and including vegetables and fruits EVERY DAY not just some of the days :)

5) Train for and complete a 10k
This year I (sort of) trained for and ran a 5k for the Race for Life but since then I've done virtually nothing in terms of exercise so a new year means a new start so time to get my (larger than it was) ass back into some regular exercise programme! Cardio tennis and spinning plus some running is the way forward....

6) Save, save and save some more
Next year Mr P and I are considering that a house move could be on the cards to somewhere with a bit more room so to do that I need to reign in my shopping addiction and try to focus more on saving those pennies. I also plan on finally sell those things I don't use that we have cluttering up our cosy abode so that money can also go into the pot! I saw today on Instagram (follow me I'm @Louloudorset to see pics of my life and especially my cat!!) the #2014closetremixchallenge by @jen_murph where there's a shopping ban (eeeek) and you only use the items in your closet - remixing them to create all new looks. Now I have a LOT of clothes but am one of those people that always feels like I have nothing to wear so I'm hoping this will motivate me big time to a) wear more of my wardrobe and b) prove to myself that I do not need to shop!!

So that's it, my goals for 2014, a framework of positive affirmations to work on improving myself with....are you willing to share yours? Do you set resolutions or do you not believe in them?

Much love to you all for 2014